Losing a tooth can be both embarrassing and frightening. What many people don’t realize however is that losing a tooth is much more than a cosmetic issue. Luckily, there is a dental procedure that can restore your smile and prevent these oral health issues. A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) dental prosthetic that is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are several types of dental bridges that may be used. You dentist will thoroughly discuss which type is right for your case during your consultation appointment. The most popular type of dental bridge is called a “traditional bridge,” and is usually made of porcelain that has been fused to metal. This is the most popular type of bridge, because the porcelain used closely mimics the look and feel of your natural teeth. This type of bridge has two crowns that are placed over anchoring teeth on either side of the gap, with the artificial teeth filling the gap.
Reasons for a Fixed Dental Bridge
A fixed dental bridge can be used for a number of dental and oral health issues. Over time, your remaining teeth will migrate to fill the gap, eventually popping out of their sockets. Your gums will also begin to recede in and around the gap, and you may experience bone loss in those areas as well. Even your facial features can eventually be affected by a missing tooth. Not only does it help fill in the space left by missing teeth, a fixed dental bridge can also:
- Prevent your remaining teeth from drifting and pulling out of their socket
- Restore your ability to speak and chew properly
- Maintain your proper facial shape
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent appliance
Getting a Fixed Dental Bridge
Getting your fixed dental bridge will usually require at least two visits. During your first visit, your teeth will be numbed and the two anchoring teeth will be prepared. A portion of tooth enamel will be removed to make room for a crown, and a mold will be made of the teeth. This will be sent to a dental laboratory where the dental bridge will be made. In the meantime, your dentist will prepare a temporary bridge for you to wear in the weeks until your next appointment.
At your second appointment, your permanent bridge will be adjusted for proper fi. t Your dentist may choose to only temporarily cement the bridge to ensure your remaining teeth have time to adjust to the new bridge and to ensure that no further adjustments need to be made. The new bridge will then be permanently cemented at another appointment.
Are You A Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
Good dental bridge candidates will have healthy teeth surrounding the gap made by their missing teeth. You may also be a good candidate for a dental bridge if the surrounding teeth have only minor damage that is treatable. Children who do not have their full set of permanent teeth yet, and individuals suffering from severely decayed or unhealthy teeth will not be good candidates for a fixed dental bridge.
If you feel you would be a good candidate for a dental bridge, call Kenneth Hill DDS at (702) 897-7267 for a consultation. Their caring and experienced staff can help you achieve the full and healthy smile you have always wanted.